On March 4, 1999, Racing went bankrupt and was on the brink of disappearance. Two of the great protagonists of that day were the then president of the Avellaneda club, Daniel Lalín, who was injured after one of the desperate fans threw a drum into his face, and the trustee Liliana Ripoll, who spoke the words that no Academy fan wanted to hear: “Racing has ceased to exist.”
The day that Racing went bankrupt and was on the brink of disappearance
On the morning of Thursday, March 4, 1999, Chamber II of the Appeals Chamber of La Plata ordered the cessation of the continuity of the bankruptcy of the club that had been imposed by its president, Daniel Lalín, therefore all the assets of the Avellaneda institution were to be liquidated in the following four months.
When the news broke, hundreds of fans gathered at the headquarters located at Miter 934, awaiting an explanation from the trustee Ripoll, protagonist of one of the most remembered phrases in the history of Argentine soccer: “Racing has left to exist”.
The famous drumbeat at the Academy headquarters was left for history.
Only at night did Lalín arrive at the place. However, he could not provide much information, much less calm the atmosphere: as soon as he took the microphone, one of the fans threw a drum into his face and cut off his nose. With blood on his face, he gave up leading the speech and took refuge.
Liliana Ripoll, protagonist of the indelible phrase: “Racing has ceased to exist”
“Racing Club Civil Association has ceased to exist.” That was the phrase of the trustee Liliana Ripoll that aroused despair in all the fans of the Academy. However, she confessed years later that they were not literal words, but rather a symbolic message to generate a reaction from the people.
“That camera failure had no foundation. I told Judge Gorostegui: ‘Did he start to think about what will happen when the fans find the closed club? I’m not going to put the girdle on him’. On the way from the office to the corridors, where I knew I was going to meet journalists on duty, it occurred to me that I had to say something that would cause an explosion in the fans because the closure was imminent, ”he said.
His idea was correct: there was a caravan of fans towards the building of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) in Viamonte, a rally was organized at the Obelisk, a letter with more than a million signatures was delivered to the then president Carlos Menem to “save the institution at any cost” and even opened an account at Bank Boston to collect funds for the club.
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On Sunday, March 7, Racing was supposed to receive Talleres de Córdoba at the Cilindro for the first date of Clausura 99, but a strike by soccer players caused the start of the championship to be delayed. However, more than 30,000 fans of the Academy and even the players went to the stadium to sing that the club was not closing. Since then, that March 7 has been made official as Racing Fan Day.
All of that worked: the camera failure was reversed on the first business day following that March 7th. In this way, Racing played again the following Sunday in Rosario against Central, with the presence of 30,000 fans at the Gigante de Arroyito.
Racing fans on the afternoon of March 7, 1999 where they filled the field without playing. DYN.
For her part, Ripoll continued working at the AFA as an adviser after resigning from the bankruptcy of Racing: she survived Julio Grondona and the Normalization Commission and now continues under the mandate of Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia.
Despite the fact that he always worked with bankruptcies and bankruptcies, he admitted that he never experienced anything similar: “I have seen companies close down that perhaps left 50, 100, 200 people on the street. And I never saw a politician move to save them. With Racing there was a political consensus that I did not see in a business, in a company, in an industrial activity. Only in a football club.”
Read also: Day of the Racing fan: 20 years after the fact that the history of the Academy changed and why its people celebrate it
Since then, he has avoided the media. “I spoke just and necessary within the process. And once I retired, there wasn’t much else to say,” she explained. At first, she became a kind of enemy for the Racing World, since the dramatic words came from her lips.
For this reason, the fans even dedicated part of one of their pitch songs to him: “I didn’t forget that day, that a crazy old woman said that Racing didn’t exist, that it had to be liquidated.” However, Ripoll acknowledged that he now walks “down the much quieter street.”
What is the life of Daniel Lalin
Although Daniel Lalín put Racing on the brink of disappearance, he always defended his decision: “Everything I said came true. Continuing bankruptcy was the best and only option. Then other clubs did. What happens is that I never had the approval of Julio Grondona. You know why? Because I always told him that he was a jet. And time proved me right.
After his bad experience in the world of soccer, he added more failures in other areas: he undertook a trip to the Asian giant to look for a machine that “cured” cancer, he rented a tungsten mine in the province of San Luis that did not pay off and he was even the administrator of the manzaneras of the wife of the former head of state Eduardo Duhalde.
The historic restaurant was reborn by the businessman.
However, it was successful in the gastronomic sector, after reopening a historic restaurant in the City of Buenos Aires in the midst of a pandemic. Specifically, he led the revival of Fechoría, a gastronomic establishment that famous people knew how to frequent in the 1970s: Susana Giménez, Moria Casán, Jorge Porcel and Carlos Monzón were illustrious and regular diners.
Also read: What is the life of Daniel Lalín, the leader who put Racing on the brink of disappearance
Lalín gave new impetus to Fechoría and has even endured a crisis: in 2018 he reopened it in Santa Fe and Callao, but there it closed barely a year later. In 2021 he insisted, but in the Recova de Posadas, where another classic, Sorrento, worked. In the place, the menu is modified three times a year, it has similarities with traditional still lifes and the consultant cook was recruited from the mythical Italian city of Naples.
The controversial former president of Racing ventured into gastronomy.
Meanwhile, he never left his passion aside and months ago he even encouraged himself to comment harshly on Racing’s present: “Víctor Blanco is the best president in history. I think that Fernando Gago may be a good coach at some point, but now he is practicing. Edwin Cardona looks like a washing machine, he plays 20 minutes and starts walking ”.